Who called himself your priest, Immortal Choir?
Not Dante, though in ruddiest altar-flame
He plunged his torch, and bore it through the shame
Of deepening hell to domes of starry fire,
In steadfast temple-service. Not that sire
Of glorious chant, our Milton, he who came
With solemn tread and vestments purged from blame
To swing the censer of divine desire.
But Horace, sipping at your crystal spring
As lightly as he quaffed his Sabine wine,
Caught up that lute, about whose golden string
The rose and myrtle he was deft to twine,
And sweetly sang, in pauses of the feast:
'The poet is the gods' anointed priest.'